May 8, 2014
Several years ago I bought a PC 7424/Ultimate Detail Machine (apparently just prior to the release of the XP). I got it to remove some water spots from my roadster. It is a little stronger than the original PC, but less than the XP. I was very disappointed in the performance.
Flash forward to the present. I decided to try my hand at removing trail scratches from my Jeep. This time I was not getting a simply DA converted from a sander. The Flex PE14 rotary seemed the way to go.
By the time it arrived I had watched many how to videos on this and other sites. I was starting to get buyers remorse, thinking I should have gotten the Flex forced rotation model DA (which I had considered, but didn't want another disappointment for lack of power). OK, I share all that for those of you who are struggling with the same decision.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE PE 14: So far, due to weather and scheduling I have only had one long session with it, working on my drivers side door Jeep trail scratches. I used Sonus SXF1, 2, and 3 with the pads that came with my kit. Having read all the horror stories about burning paint, I took a very conservative approach and never ran the Flex anywhere near full speed. Unless you are very careless, this machine is not to be feared. It handles well. While not a featherweight, by any means, it is well balanced and easy to move about. The ability to run it at slow speeds is great. I never felt out of control. After washing and claying I ended up doing a 5 step process and the results are very satisfying, considering how light I polished. I did notice that the unit does get pretty warm running continually at the slow speeds. But the venting system is very strong. You can feel the air blowing out the front vents toward the pad. Also, I know it will shut down before any overheat can damage the unit, so I never worried about that, and it was never too hot to use.
I am glad I got it, and I have learned more about proper use of the PC7424, so I have that (plus a new Harbor Freight DA/modified) for final polish, etc. I plan on getting more practice on the Jeep...then back to those pesky water spots!
Pros:Well balanced, powerful, runs easily at slow speeds, not noisy, strong cooling system.
Cons:Expensive (but considering the quality, if it lasts a long time, its a good investment). The best con, however, is that it has caused me to constantly peruse these sites and order more stuff, and impatiently wait for the next holiday sale!